The Federal Government has started discussions with a Chinese firm, Luan Stolding Group, to build a new steel plant in Nigeria and commence the construction of military hardware at the Ajaokuta Steel Plant.
This was the fallout of the visit by a delegation of the Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Audu; the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru, and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Steel Development, Mary Ogbe, during a tour of Luan Steel Holding Group in Hefei and Guangzhou Regions of China.
Government said the collaboration with financial institutions was to seek the best financing options to re-start the light Steel Mill in Ajaokuta and kick-start iron rod production.
The Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Audu, in a statement signed by the ministry’s Head of Press and Public Relations, Salamatu Jibaniya, said the trip to China was one of the steps being taken to realise the goal of reviving the steel industry in Nigeria, in line with the vision of the current administration.
According to him, work has commenced to create an operational steel industry that will attract billions of dollars of foreign direct investments into the country, open up the nation’s economy and create hundreds of thousands of job opportunities.
He noted that the plan to construct military hardware in the Ajaokuta steel plant would help in the fight against insecurity and terrorism.
“We had very meaningful discussions with the Chairman of Luan Steel Holding Group, Mr Wang Jianbing, the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Mr Xiao Weizhan, and other senior Executives of the Luan Steel Holding Group.
“Like several other international and local investors, Luan Steel Holding Group has indicated interest in setting up a new Steel Plant in Nigeria, as well as handling a component of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant for building military hardwares in Nigeria.